Formalisation of changes could indicate reopening long way off
Transport for London has announced that they are reorganising bus services in areas affected by the closure of Hammersmith Bridge.
The formalisation of the temporary changes made to routes in the wake of the unheralded shutting of the bridge has raised fears that the closure is going to be protracted. TfL are understood to have warned local residents’ groups that the bridge may not reopen for two years. A consultation on the changes is being held even though they will come into effect immediately and this runs until the middle of October. We have asked TfL if this implies they expect no reopening this year.
Bus services were immediately rerouted after the Grade II* listed Hammersmith Bridge was closed on safety grounds in April. Six bus routes have been changed and one new route is being introduced.
The changes will be introduced on Saturday 18 May and TfL say they would like feedback on the impact of the changes.
The new route 533 will run between Barnes and Hammersmith via Chiswick Bridge. It runs along Hammersmith Bridge Road, Great West Road, the A316, Chiswick Bridge, Lower Richmond Road, Mortlake High Street (Barnes Bridge station), Lonsdale Road (eastbound only), Castelnau (southbound only), Church Road (Barnes Pond) (westbound only) and Barnes High Street (westbound only). The service will be every 30 minutes daily between approximately 05:00 and approximately 01:00.
Route 72 now starts and finishes at Hammersmith Bridge (north side bus stop), north of the river, no longer serving Castelnau, Rocks Lane, Barnes station or Roehampton. It runs along Hammersmith Bridge Road (westbound), Bridge View (southbound) and Hammersmith Bridge Road (northbound and eastbound) to get as close as possible to the bridge.
It continues to run between Hammersmith bus station and East Acton. This replaces the temporary arrangement with route 72 buses not running between Shepherd’s Bush and East Acton.
The 72 continues to run between Roehampton and East Acton at night as the N72 but is rerouted between Barnes station and Hammersmith bus station along Lower Richmond Road, Putney Bridge and Fulham Palace Road, no longer serving Rocks Lane (northern section), Castelnau or Hammersmith Bridge Road.
The bus route 609 between Hammersmith and Mortlake will not be restored.
The 33 will terminate at Castelnau but a N33 night service will run between Fulwell and Hammersmith but is rerouted between Barnes Station and Hammersmith bus station along Lower Richmond Road, Putney Bridge and Fulham Palace Road, no longer serving Rocks Lane (northern section), Castelnau or Hammersmith Bridge Road.
Other routes affected are 419, 485 and 209 which will run on shortened or altered routes and TfL warn passenger will experience a change in their journeys and should check before they travel. TfL are to increase the capacity of the 265 between Roehampton and Putney Bridge station. Maps demonstrating the changes will be displayed at affected routes.
TfL say they are trying to manage the impact that the closure is having on the road network. It has already begun making changes to traffic signal timings in the area to help the flow of traffic and will continue to monitor the situation to determine whether further changes are required.
Geoff Hobbs, Director of Public Transport Service Planning at TfL, said: “We had to reshape bus services in the area as a result of the bridge closure, but now we are able to finesse our changes to reduce its impact on customers. We urge customers to check how their journeys may be affected by visiting our website.
“We are working closely with the council's specialist engineers to conclude the final plan, and finalise costs, for upgrading the bridge as soon as possible.”
Tony Devenish London Assembly Member said, “TfL are right to put temporary measures in place to alleviate the terrible congestion caused by the closure of Hammersmith Bridge, but West London deserves better. With the bridge now closed for over a month, residents - especially the elderly, disabled and those with young children - are crying out for Hammersmith and Fulham Council and TfL to get around the table to hammer out a solution. A ‘sticking plaster’ is simply not acceptable.
“London Mayor Sadiq Khan has assured me in the past that repair work would take place in 2019, yet TfL’s consultation on these bus changes doesn’t even close until October. Londoners are overdue a straight answer to a straight question: when will Hammersmith Bridge re-open?”
The bridge remains open for pedestrians and cyclists.
May 15, 2019